Day 2 of our roadtrip was by far the most fun. We spent over 14 hours traveling from Bandon, Oregon to Monterey California. We took a really long route to get there, but it was so worth it!
The above images are from the Califonia Redwoods. B and I had both always wanted to see these giants and were so glad we took the time to really be tourists on the Avenue of the Giants.
Before we arrived at the Redwoods, our first stop was in Eureka on Highway 101 for lunch (first long stop, I can't tell you how many rest stops and gas stations we stopped at!). Eureka was an interesting town with a deep timber history, so B was intrigued. We stopped for lunch at a really neat place called the Samoa Cookhouse. It is a historic restaurant on the water that serves only one item choice for each meal. The tables are long and covered with red checked tabled clothes, and the food is served family style. We enjoyed our homestyle lunch and enjoyed the logging memoriablia.
After lunch and our trip through the Redwoods we had a decision to make. Early on this trip B determined that he was the pilot and I was the co-pilot. My responsibilities included the music and the maps. Keeping us headed in the right direction is a big responsbility for someone who is extremely bad with directions (that's me). I used a combination of my iPhone GPS and good old fashioned maps and guide books. This was the first of a couple of last minute decisions I made that set us on a slight detour. In my opinion, any detour is an opportunity for adventure! That is NOT B's opinion.
I guided us into 22 miles of twisty turny roads through the mountains to get us onto the coast Highway 1. I thought that we would stick to one of our initial goals, which was to drive as much of the coast as possible. After that first windy hour we came out of the woods to sunny skies and the California sea.
B and I love the Oregon coast. But we really enjoyed seeing the change in the coast line as we made this drive. We kept saying that the water is so blue! The Oregon coast is my heart, but it is grey. The color of the water was beautiful, and the scenery on the old Highway 1 was amazing.
B manages our local cemetery, so historic cemeteries are interesting to us. We pulled over on the side of the highway, high on top of a cliff and took some photos of a small cemetery.
We continued down Highway 1 to Fort Bragg and past Mendicino (beautiful!). We decided that we weren't making great time and that we still had a long way to Monterey (and non-refundable reservations at our hotel). So we cut back over to Highway 101 through wine country. Another successful decision!
The weather was perfect, high 60's. We are used to wine country in Oregon, and the California wine country has equally amazing scenery. We started to make good time through this area, so there were no stops for photos! But we drove with the windows down and my feet on the dash and enjoyed our afternoon.
We made it into San Fransisco and the Golden Gate Bridge around dinner time. We were looking forward to driving over the bridge. I turned on our wedding first dance song Cruisin' (the Huey Lewis and Gweneth Paltrow version) and sang as we drove over the bridge and took photos. I was enjoying the moment so much that I forgot to look at the GPS to check which turn off to take...continue on 101 or get back on to the 1. And boy, do you have to make that decision fast once you are over the bridge!
(I took this photo out of the sunroof. B was telling me to "get Alcatraz!"...I blame him for my distraction from the map.)
So, B got to see a little more than San Fran than he thought he would. Meh, another adventure and memory in the books!
We kept south (once we got back on Highway 101). We got to Monterey around 9:30 and settled into our hotel by 10:00. We were drained from the drive and decided to explore Montery the next day instead of doing any more driving sightseeing.
It was such a fun day! I can't wait to take our kids on the same drive someday.
Playlist on Day 2:
Napa Valley - Lil' Wayne
Highway 101 - Beach Boys
Into San Fran - Coldplay
Over the Golden Gate Bridge - "Cruisin'", our wedding song
Silicon Valley - Ray Lamontagne
Day 2 was such a long day, and this has been a very long post. Watch for our Day 3 adventures in Monterey at Cannery Row and Fisherman's Warf soon.